Wines of Great Britain Annual Awards celebrate the successes of the flourishing UK Wine Industry. Ridgeview Bloomsbury NV was awarded a Gold Medal and Presidents Trophy for Best Classic Cuvee at this year’s ceremony. Members of the Ridgeview family attended the 2019 awards at the historic setting of Vintners Hall. For the first time, in honour of the memory of Mike Roberts who was the previous industry Chairman of English Wine Producers, Ridgeview sponsored a new trophy ‘Mike Roberts MBE Best Vintage Classic Cuvee’.
The new trophy honours the brand producing the best vintage classic blend, a style Mike championed from the very earliest Ridgeview vintages. It was tributed at the Wines GB Awards ceremony as ‘Celebrating Mike Roberts, Ridgeview’s Co-Founder and leading light in English sparkling wines’. Mike worked tirelessly and with passion to promote the industry as a whole. Peter Gladwin Vice Chair of Wines of Great Britain commented “The ‘Mike Roberts Trophy’ for the best Classic Cuvee sparkling might be a wonderful legacy that could be awarded for many years to come”.
Chris Roberts, Mike’s wife and co-founder or Ridgeview, attended the ceremony and was proud to award to the new trophy to Roebuck Estates for their 2014 Classic Cuvee.’. Chris commented that “The trophy is a wonderful tribute so closely associated Mikes belief that England could produce excellent sparkling wine, as good, if not better than others around the world”. On receiving the trophy James Mead from Roebuck Estates responded “We were beyond delighted to receive such a huge accolade in honour of Mike who was such an inspiration and iconic figure in the English wine industry”.
Mike’s son-in-law Simon Larder who also works in the family business and attended the ceremony remarked; “Being five years since we lost Mike it is an appropriate moment for his position in the industry to be remembered, recognised and rewarded. There have been huge changes in the industry which have only come about due to his initial energy and commitment to the sparkling wine cause in England. Others may win the ‘Mike Roberts Trophy’ but there’s only one King of Fizz.”
A further new accolade was announced – the first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Chris Foss, recently retired Head of Wine Studies at Plumpton College, who founded the department 31 years ago. Ridgeview have worked closely with Chris Foss during his time at Plumpton. Chris has been instrumental to the training and education of the growing English Wine industry.
The 2019 competition was sponsored by two main partners – Waitrose & Partners, a long-standing champion of English and Welsh wines, Ridgeview are proud partners of Waitrose selling their Ridgeview Bloomsbury NV and helping produce Waitrose own label Leckford blend. The awards were also sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons, a leading manufacturer and supplier of bottle closures to the winemakers of England and Wales who Ridgeview work closely with.